New Mexico At a GlanceHome | Albuquerque, NM (Mountain West Conference)
2011 Record | 1-11 (1-6)
Offensive Starters Returning | 8
Defensive Starters Returning | 6
2012 Offensive MVP | QB B.R. Holbrook
2012 Defensive MVP | LB Dallas Bollema
Newcomer to Watch | OL Garrett Adcock or OL Josh Baggett
This is my yearly attempt to educate myself on the teams on the Texas Tech schedule. I am not an expert about any of these teams, but rather I have spent a few hours studying the team and it is more likely than not that I have something wrong. Please correct me in the comments.
Important Links | NCAA Stats (113th Total Offense; 118th Total Defense) . . . 2012 New Mexico Spring Guide . . . Pre-Snap Read Preview at #122. . . Football Study Hall stat profile . . . SB Nation's Bill Connelly 2012 preview .. .
The Coach | Good old Bob Davie. Interestingly, Texas Tech somewhat benefited with Davie being hired as QB A.J. Walton decided to transfer to Texas Tech. Walton being more of a passing quarterback and Davie wanting to run a veer based or running attack. No passing spread for Davie. Davie wasn't all that bad while at Notre Dame, just not good enough, and to be truthful, he actually won at a pretty good rate. But like so many coaches, he was fired and started working for the network and he said footbaw quite a bit.
Now that Davie is at New Mexico, he has what would seem to be an insurmountable job of winning at New Mexico. Former head coach Mike Locksley ran this program into the ground, perhaps best indicated by his record at New Mexico the final year, 1-11, and there was no point in keeping him around, although I suspect that Locksley got an additional year because of the financial constraints. I do like Davie at New Mexico and I actually think over time that he'll do well. He seems to be a polar opposite of Locksley, a bit more slow paced and grand-fatherly. I also do not think that Davie will be punching his coaching staff.
More after the jump.
DTN 2012 Previews* 9/1/12 Northwestern St. Demons (Preview)
* 9/8/12 @ Texas St. Bobcats (Preview)
* 9/15/12 New Mexico Lobos (Preview)
* 9/29/12 @ Iowa St. Cyclones (Preview)
* 10/6/12 Oklahoma Sooners (Preview)
* 10/13/12 West Virginia Mountaineers (Preview)
* 10/20/12 @ TCU Horned Frogs (Preview)
* 10/27/12 @ Kansas St. Wildcats (Preview)
* 11/3/12 Texas Longhorns (Preview)
* 11/10/12 Kansas Jayhawks (Preview)
* 11/17/12 @ Oklahoma St. Cowboys (Preview)
* 11/24/12 Baylor Bears (Preview)
What We Do Know | There is no question that New Mexico was awful both offensively and defensively. I mean awful in just about every metric. One of the worst in the country. On the offensive side of the ball, as highlighted by Connelly, Davie is going to run the ball. Quite a bit. Holbrook is a decent quarterback and he fits what Davie wants to do, which is to have a rushing-oriented offensive attack. Holbrook has been okay offensively, but if he's running the ball, I think that this will add a bit of variety to his game. The problem for New Mexico, especially during the spring, was that there were few, if any offensive linemen and that's why I've listed two freshmen as newcomers because the Lobos are most likely going to need some help at some point along the offensive line.
What is good is that New Mexico returns their top two rushers from last year in Crusoe Gongbay and Demarcus Rogers, although they only accounted for less than 800 yards and 8 touchdowns combined. I'd expect those numbers to go up significantly. New Mexico also has some nice talent returning at receiver, although you would expect that they won't be catching as many passes as they did last year. Lamar Thomas was really good, Deon Long was a freshman, Ty Kirk is super-talented and Lucas Reed is a pretty good tight end.
Defensively, I think you're going to see much of the same. It is usually a long process to dramatically improve a defense and I could see Davie's offense having a relative quick impact. The defensive side of the ball will take time and I remember Davie being in charge of those Wrecking Crew defenses at Texas A&M and I do think that he knows what he is doing on this end of the field. New Mexico loses their best player for the past three or four years in LB Carmen Messina. But other than Messina, I think that Davie will be working with a relatively clean slate while he is installing his 3-4 defense and makes small improvements.
Dallas Bollema returns and had 68 tackles last year, but New Mexico loses three of their top four returning tacklers in Messina, Bubba Forrest and Anthony Hooks. I don't know if that sort of turnover will be a good thing.
What We Do Not Know | I think there is a ton that we don't know, and the reason we don't know it is because it has been a decade since Davie coached. We probably know what to expect based on what Davie did before and the coordinators that he's hired. Honestly, and I know that I shouldn't speak for Lobo football fans, but I would be relatively happy if Davie instilled some discipline and accountability in the program. I wouldn't be worried about win or losses in Davie's first year and as a fan of a team, I'm sure that's a depressing thought. Again, I think the offense is in relatively good hands, but Davie has to find someone that can make some plays in the secondary and at linebacker. Davie needs to find someone that can rush the passer and get to opposing quarterbacks. There are a lot of questions to be answered defensively.
Best Player | WR Lamar Thomas is probably the best player on the team, but he may not get the credit if NM runs the ball more, which is why I think Holbrook will be the MVP. Joseph Harris could have an impact and was actually decent last year, just didn't get to the passer.
Break Through Player Candidate | Give me Holbrook as I think that he will be pretty good with this new rush-oriented offense.
Overall Fear Level With 1 Being Not Afraid At All and 5 Being So Scared Baby | Maybe I should be a bit more afraid of New Mexico or perhaps the fear of the unknown, i.e. what Davie will do offensively and defensively, but I'm not. It's not Davie's fault, but rather the fault of Locksley. I think New Mexico will be incrementally better, but just incrementally, not significantly. That still shouldn't be enough for be within 30 points of Texas Tech.